FACT 1: Google has built a website for your business.
FACT 2: Because Google built it and Google is hosting it, this website probably attracts more visitors than your “regular” website.
FACT 3: If you are like 98% of business owners out there, you didn’t know about that and you didn’t claim your website.
FACT 4: And since you didn’t know about this website and didn’t claim it, it’s anyone’s guess what type of information is on it and what type of reputation this website creates for your business. People quite literally use that website to talk about your business behind your back and you are not privy to that conversation.
FACT 5: These (largely orphaned) websites are called Google Places.
See, Internet marketing is no longer about someone sitting at their London office and drop-shipping a container from Beijing to a customer in San Francisco. I mean, this type of stuff still takes place online. But it’s no longer the “main thing”.
The “main thing” now is much more about:
- A local soccer mom checking out pizza deals to see where she could take Johnny after his game so he could replace the calories he’s expended on the field…
- A Dad looking up the store hours of operation and the fastest route to get there because the kitchen sink is leaking and needs a new washer…
- Or someone with a tooth ache looking which dentist could see him the fastest.
These are examples of how Internet is being used today. It is important that we understand this.
And Google understands this too. And so do Yahoo and Bing. Now if you type “chiropractor toronto”, Google assumes (correctly!) that it’s a local search and it gives you a bunch of results from Google Places that are local to you.
See, if you are looking for a chiropractor in Toronto, you wouldn’t want to see a chiro from Singapore at the top of your search, even if that chiro had hired the best SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consultant in the world and has the most “optimized” site on the planet. Google will try to show you the results that are local — and hence more relevant — to you.
The fact that Google pays so much attention to local search, and Yahoo / Bing play catch up but are rapidly moving in the same direction, changes how the online marketing game is played. And every time the game changes, it gives you a chance to profit in a major way but only if you act fast.
How do you spell OPPORTUNITY?